Why, hello there, creepy lurkers who searched for boobs. There will be no pictures here, fellows, so mosey on.
Anywho, I thought people might like to know what happened to my boobs after nursing Piper.
Before I got pregnant, I was a large D cup. I was a large girl, after all. I admit, I *think* I was a D-cup, because I was afraid to have them measured and just crammed those babies into the D cups I already had. Then, I got pregnant. And my boobs quickly began to spill out of those D cups, but I kept wearing them. No, not because I was cheap, but because my boobs hurt SO much when I moved around, went down stairs, sneezed, leaned over… (the list goes on), that it felt SO much better to have them harnessed into a bra that was too small for them, as odd as it sounds.
Eventually, the spill-over became too much (I’d say 2nd tri, maybe?) and I went to get new bras once my boobs stopped hurting, this time wire-free and with comfort bands. Yeah, some may have been nursing bras, but whatever, they were comfy! I realized I had been needing an F cup, totally making me think, “What the hell? I didn’t think there was room enough to grow!” Well, there was.
When I began to leak colostrum during the end of 2nd tri and throughout 3rd tri, I hoped and prayed that this meant breastfeeding wouldn’t be as hard as I had heard it was- at least supply-wise. The answer came when Piper was born. By Thursday morning (she was born Tuesday night, almost at midnight), my milk had come in and it came in with a vengeance. My boobs felt heavy, hard and bruised. Despite the LC’s (lactation consultant) advice for using a nipple shells- for flat nipples, I used them in the hospital and for a week after Piper was born, because by then Piper had torn the tissues in my nipple (torn is a bad word, make that “stretched”) far enough that they would never, ever be flat again. Honestly, I don’t even think they WERE flat to begin with.
These suckers right here
And the tormentors here, taken apart (the crescent shaped things are absorbent foam strips that are supposed to lie at the bottom of the cup and collect excess milk).
The nipple things sucked. A lot. It works kind of like a suction, once the rounded caps are attached. It pulls the nipple into the shell and elongates previously flat nipples so the baby is able to take your nipple into her mouth easier. Well, due to my overabundance of milk, when I’d be wearing these things (which are frigging PAINFUL on sore newly-gnawed on nipples), if I tipped forward the milk would spill out of the holes in the top. Classy, right? And their site says it leaves a realistic look for under clothing. Um. CROCK OF SHIT. I looked like I was smuggling mushrooms under my top, it was horrid. Anyway, I gave em up because they sucked, made my nips hurt worse than Piper’s new baby gums, and were useless.
Piper was a champion feeder from the start, I was very lucky that way. I didn’t have a supply issue, I didn’t have to worry about latch problems or bleeding nipples, I was one of the very few who had never had an issue (other than trying to pump, I SUCKED at pumping with the Pump in Style).
Piper continued to be exclusively breastfed up to her 14 month birthday or so, until I cut it down to just before bed. Then, she began to push my boobs away. She’d suck once, then push it away as if it was a bother to her. At that point, my breasts had gotten so used to nursing only once that there wasn’t any engorgement, and before her 18 month-day, she was weaned. I admit that had you asked me eight months before, I would have said I was going to be sad about weaning, because it would be the end of our closeness, that bond that NO ONE ELSE had shared with her. But then had you asked me at 18 months, I would have been a little bit sad, but mostly proud. Proud that I had breastfed my daughter until a year and a half (almost). But I was also… happy. Happy to have my boobs back. Happy to be able to sleep without wearing nursing pads and nursing tanks/bras. Finally I can wear wired bras again!! Finally I can leave Piper all day without having to worry about getting back to her for feeding. And finally… Paul can put her to bed, since she won’t need me to nurse her to sleep- as I had put her to bed every night by myself until that point. While I was glad I was given the ability to breastfeed, while knowing there are so many others who did EVERYTHING they could to nurse but couldn’t, nursing is a tether to your child. You must always be available to them, always wear clothing that is easy access for your baby, and always keep mum when your kid decides to try out her new chompers on your poor nipple, which had JUST started to feel like it was finally safe from that shock.
I was thankful that Piper had made the decision herself, instead of me forcing it on her when she wasn’t ready. Like so many things about parenting, I had hemmed and hawed about when I was going to wean her. Paul was starting to mention it, like, “Is she really still nursing?” One sister in law, whose kids had been weaned when they sprouted teeth asked if I was actually still nursing. My other sister in law, who had nursed her son until he was almost four, cheered me on. I knew that Piper was no longer getting her nutrients from me, and it was mostly a comfort thing. I looked for tips on weaning a child who wasn’t ready for it yet, knowing that if it came down to it, I wasn’t ready to take away something she enjoyed. So again, thank goodness I didn’t have to do it myself.
Once the nursing ceased, Piper acted like she didn’t ever nurse in the first place! It was the weirdest thing. One day she had nursed, and the next my nipples are for twisting only. Crazy kid.
I had begun to look into breasts and how they change post-nursing. Maybe it was because we had gradually weaned rather than cold turkey, but I didn’t have to deal with the clogged ducts, the painful engorgement of breasts that filled with milk without release, no signs of danger. Unfortunately, though, I did have to deal with leaking ALL THE TIME. My breasts weren’t swollen and dripping, but when I picked her up to put her on my hip (thus squeezing my breasts together/flattening them down), I’d leak through whatever I was wearing.
I asked my friends who had weaned about that, and a majority of them mentioned how they still leaked until about 3 weeks later. Well, close to four months later, and I still leak. Sure, it’s not as bad as it was when the nursing had just stopped, but it still happens. Perhaps this is why one of the casualties of nursing and weaning haven’t happened to me: the sagging of empty used breasts. Sorry for the image folks. As to now, my breasts aren’t flappy skin bags (gross) that were used and abused, but they are a tidbit smaller. Like, say, an E cup. Lucky me.
With the larger breasts come shoulder pain, back pain, indents from my bras, and today, a new one. The wire in my bra broke. In half. I couldn’t figure out what that sharp poke was when I moved my arms. Oh, it was just THE WIRE FROM MY BRA SNAPPING IN HALF. Wtf, man.
And as I was digging for something in the bottom drawer of my dresser the other night, I felt something wet. I was leaking again, whatever, right? Yeah, the milk was running down my arm. How is it possible that weaning four months ago hasn’t diminished my milk supply? I just don’t understand it.
For you folks who weaned, when did your milk go away?